ISLAMABAD (INP) - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has criticised recent hike in petrol and diesel prices, saying that it would badly affect business activities and create difficulties for common man. Gradual and uncontrolled increase in POL prices has put negative impact on production as our industrial production cost which is already under great pressure due to power loadshedding and further increase in POL prices would worsen the business environment, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President ICCI has said in a statement. He said that the increase in petroleum prices would set a new trend of inflation which has already crossed 20 percent in the last few months and further increase in petroleum and power tariff would make the lives of people miserable. ICCI President said that the cost of industrial production was already under heavy pressure due to higher electricity and gas charges. Yassar Sakhi Butt said that Government was charging four different taxes on the petroleum products. In the previous year government collected Rs.351 billion on petroleum products which was close to the one fourth of the entire tax collection, he added. He said that petrol price hike in Pakistan has been affecting every segment of the society and lives of common people are becoming extremely difficult as a result of unprecedented hike in fuel prices. ICCI President was of the view that government must put a stop on increase in the tariffs and instead of adopting short cut solutions to meet the energy demands, must develop and implement a long term strategy to overcome the energy crises and rising inflation. He also urged the Government to execute Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline or TAPI project on priority basis to fill the gap between raising demand and short supply. He suggested that Government should immediately formulate a transparent policy regarding petroleum prices to control the inflationary pressure.